Last month, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, announced that he will be spending all of this year’s November in Africa.
Headed to Africa for all of November! Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. Going to spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs, including @betelhem_dessie @noelkudu @GETNETASEFFA! pic.twitter.com/PcLCw8LZwr
— jack ??? (@jack) October 4, 2019
Dorsey said he was going to visit four Africa countries — Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana, as part of his listening and learning tour across Africa.
And yesterday, he came through on that announcement when he and other Twitter executives, including CTO, Parag Agrawal, touched down in Lagos, Nigeria, where he kicked off the tour.
So grateful to finally be in Nigeria ??
— jack ??? (@jack) November 7, 2019
Dorsey’s been around for less than 24 hours but he’s certainly not let jetlag get in the way of his visit. He had only arrived in the evening of yesterday but he’s been busy from that moment.
Last night, he was treated to an elaborate dinner where he met with leaders in Nigerian tech and business.
Great dinner w some new friends pic.twitter.com/HsCwicfouN
— jack ??? (@jack) November 7, 2019
Jack said he was going to engage Nigerian “entrepreneurs” during his visit and he’s wasted no time getting down to that.
Between the evening of yesterday and now, he’s met with notable personalities like Tayo Oviosu, Victor Asemota, ‘Bosun Tijani, Onyeka Akumah, Dr. Joe Abbah, Dayo Koleowo, Akin Oyebode, Debo Odulana, and Odun Eweniyi, among others.
Plus, he’s not only tried some Nigerian dishes but also learned to say a few things in Yoruba; a local Nigerian language that happens to also be one of the fastest-spreading languages in the United States.
— Tippmedia24 (@tippmedia24) November 8, 2019
Dorsey is yet to grant any official media interviews, though he’s been spotted at CcHub offices in Nigeria. Also, ‘media people’ were supposed to speak with him.
— jack ??? (@jack) November 8, 2019
But the dialogue with the media hasn’t quite happened and that hasn’t gone down well with some journalists.
This is a contrast to when Zuckerberg came in 2016. He was in CCHUB for hours, talking with businesses. I snuck in a question. He walked down Yaba, went jogging on Ikoyi bridge. FB has many Nigerians on the team who knew optics that would play well. Irritating journos isn’t one. https://t.co/CBdLFeLEUS
— Stephanie Busari (@StephanieBusari) November 8, 2019
However, there’s reason to believe he will visit the offices of Nairametrics — a Nigerian business media platform — later today.
So, Why Is Dorsey In Nigeria?
Nigeria is no stranger to this kind of visit. Back in 2016, it was Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who paid a surprise visit to Nigeria.
Zuckerberg, a known investor in Andela; a tech startup that is headquartered in Nigeria, visited Andela’s offices, met with developers, jogged the streets of Lagos, and even traveled to the capital, Abuja, where he met with Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Dorsey’s itinerary and the purpose of his visit is not exactly clear at this point, but there’s some speculation around him coming to Nigeria to introduce Square — another platform he co-founded — to entrepreneurs and the African market.
Square is best known for its disruptive card payment technology but in recent times, the company seems to be betting big on cryptocurrencies, bitcoin in particular.
Jack happens to also be a crypto enthusiast and Square appears to be positioning for a bitcoin onslaught. There’s a good chance that he will also be connecting with the Nigerian crypto community, which is up there with the most vibrant in the world.